John Naylor’s talent as an artist kept him from going down the pit. Both his grandfathers and his father worked as miners but when he left Woodlesford school John was accepted at the Wakefield School of Arts and Crafts.
Unfortunately his father hurt his leg in an accident underground at Water Haigh just after the Second World War, and John had to get a paying job to contribute to the family income. For many years he was a dental technician for the West Riding County Council but he gave that up to go to Bentley’s Yorkshire Breweries in 1966.
He was quickly promoted to drayman and witnessed the takeover by Whitbreads in 1968, eventually being made redundant when the premises were closed down in 1984. John’s mum, Doris, who was affectionately known as Peg because of her limp, also worked at Bentley’s in the Wine and Spirits Department.
John continued his interest in art and he painted many illustrations of pubs for landlords on his delivery rounds across Yorkshire.
He was also commissioned to paint the entrance arch to the brewery for a limited edition print which was given to all the retiring employees when the brewery closed. The original hung for many years in the Two Pointers, the closest pub to the brewery, but has since disappeared. Click on the links below to hear John Naylor’s recollections of his childhood and working life for Bentley’s and Whitbread’s.